Champions of the World, Mr. Norristown 2020 “Will Rock You”

Duyen To and Christina Wong

Last Thursday, the long-awaited Mr. Norristown met its 19th anniversary as Max Guzman was announced Town’s 2020 Mr. Norristown. Cheers erupted from the audience as all the contestants gathered round Guzman, congratulating him on winning the title amidst the colorfully decorated and festive backdrop of the stage.

Guzman’s win was not pre-determined as a conclusion as all the boys put in effort in capturing the title. It was this competition that a packed auditorium of students, staff and community members came to see.

When the clock hit 6:50, the projector was on and ready to start. Mr. Norristown’s traditional pre-show.

After the preview, the audience rose for the National Anthem, sung by seniors Selah Lawson and Jamie Hunt. The two young women were then engulfed in applause as they bowed with poise and confidence. Shortly afterward, the stage became dark; figures of what appeared to be boy entered the stage.

Cheers and laughter filled the auditorium as the Mr. Norristown contestants began their opening dance number, which was choreographed by Norristown alumni,  Kennedy Licwinko. The boys hilariously shook their hips and danced along to a Shakira remix in shimmery hip scarves.

Hosts Margret Paramo and Evelyn Romero strode down the ramp. The two charming ladies then introduced the fashion show portion of the event. Formal wear was first.

Each contestant strode down the runway, showing off their tuxedos, which were provided by Men’s Warehouse. The highlight of this event was when Max Guzman walked down with his little sister, so cute!

The next event was casual wear. What we normally see the guys wearing in school couldn’t compare to their hallway fashion. Sean O’Connor wore his everyday plain t-shirt, an averagely sized cowboy, and, of course, an inflatable ostrich costume. Shane Byrd, 2019’s Homecoming King, rocked the runway flexing his Homecoming crown and sash. Bryce Allen, one of NAHS’ football stars, proudly showed his uniform before his “coaches” entered abruptly, whistling for him to return to practice. Captivating the audience with their unique fashion senses, the beloved swimwear section then followed.

The contestants made a splash in the swimwear portion of the event. Aiden Smith flopped out with the Norristown drip: a wet suit. Ruben Morales looked ready for a day by the pool as he walked out with a floaty twice his size and a smile even bigger than that. Teasing the crowd, just as Allen was about to take his shirt off, his “coaches” came on to the stage and once again urged him to return to practice. The audience sighed in disappointment. Girls began to edge up their seats as the last contestant Ben Rosario skipped across the stage shirtless, concluding the swimwear event.

Starting off the first act, SoundCloud rapper Smith enthralled the audience with his fluid rapping skills. Smith’s own written lyrics spoke about the struggles he had face during his years of high school. The background track was of Lil Mosey’s “Blueberry Faygo.”

O’Conner shocked the audience with an unnerving yet amazing performance on the Didgeridoo to the Blue and White NAHS Alma Mater accompanied, by backup singers Bryanna Skipwith, Taylor Simmons, and Adeyinka Fakiyesi.

Christian Flores came onto the stage with his partner-in-crime, Luis Parker, both wearing blonde wigs. The audience excitedly cheered when “It’s Tricky” by RUN DMC came on; the boys flawlessly danced out an iconic scene from the movie “White Chicks.”

Dayon Littlepage, accompanied by Nicholas Richardson, acted out a musical skit about a girl they both had eyes on. The crowd laughed as the “same girl” walked out, trying to hide from the two vocalists (which she failed to do). Although heartbroken, Littlepage was quickly comforted by his friends, who humorously suggested food to fill his hole of sadness.

In the darkness of the auditorium, the audience could see a drum set and piano on the stage. As the lights turned back on, Freddie Mercury- I mean, Guzman walked onto the stage. Guzman’s friends accompanied him as they rocked out with their instruments while he performed an impeccable Freddy Mercury impression in costume to a medley of popular Queen songs.

After Mercury rocked the stage, another celebrity entered. Sitting at the piano, THE Tyler The Creator began to play his iconic song, “EARFQUAKE,” this time, his character Andy Acento-Torres took the spotlight. Let’s just say wigs were snatched that night.

Morales romantically danced with his lovely girlfriend before the song changed to the well-known “Lottery (Renegade)” by K CAMP. With the help of his friends, Morales hyped the crowd up with the viral dance taking the TikTok world by storm. Morales made a hilarious exit as he was picked up by two of his buddies.

Running out with an afro and a hippie outfit any 70’s fan can recognize, Byrd and his backup dancers performed choreography to “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Bryd’s lip-syncing skills were out of this world.

Following the fresh and funky performance, Allen sang to “The Man” by Aloe Blacc. Allen had prepared a slideshow with famous male activists and celebrities such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Bruce Lee, and most importantly, his dad. Allen’s friends joined in the fun, helping to hype up the crowd. There was a technical difficulty that happened during his performance, but being the man that he is, Allen continued confidently.

The final act of the night was a performance to remember. Rosario’s figure could be seen sitting at a table as a mysterious man quoted from the YouTube creator Prince Ea. A few moments later, Rosario was surrounded by a group of colorful masked guys who offered him a mask. As the music began, the crowd grew louder as the group began to dance. Bringing the hype level up by 100, smoke arose from Rosario’s drum as he rhythmically showed off his drumming skills. The audience cheered loudly and applauded Rosario for his brilliant performance.

After all of the acts were done, the hosts returned to announce that there would be a small 20-minute intervention before revealing the winner. Before the break began, all the contestants returned onto the stage to hand roses to their family. Returning back on to the stage, the top 5 contestants were announced: Flores, Guzman, Bryd, Allen, and Rosario.

The intermission had performances from the Latina dance club and the step-team. Before announcing the runner-up and winner of the contest, Paramo and Romero gave thanks to two wonderful women that made this contest happen, Mrs. Bartlett and Madame Shahin as well as a huge thanks to Licwinko for choreographing the introduction dance. The hosts also acknowledged the stage crew, Mr. Doyle, and Ms. Danoff for their incredible help, and of course, the judges of the show. Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for, the winner of Mr. Norristown 2020.

With a drum roll from the audience, Bryce Allen was announced runner-up for the crown. Max Guzman was then announced the winner of Mr. Norrsitown 2020.

“It’s a great honor!” exclaimed Guzman as he thanked everyone who made his win possible. 2020’s Mr. Norristown was surely a night to remember, and with how talented the contestants were, fans are already anticipating next year’s show!